For years Western countries, and especially our allies, have done everything to create question marks in the minds of ordinary Turks around whether these people are actually our friends or if they are trying to exploit our unique geo-strategic position for their own interests.
On Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan faced the leaders of these "allies" in Brussels at a NATO summit and conveyed to them what Turkey expects from its partners in the alliance.
Past experience shows that these people will listen and then do what they feel serves their interests and that is they will keep Turkey at an arm's length and try to exploit the good will of the Turkish people.
The Turkish people flocked to the streets to foil an attempted coup on July 15, 2016 and defied tanks and jet fighters to save democracy in this country. What did they get in return from the so-called Western democracies?
Only a few weak condemnations, but in general a great deal of silence. If this had happened in some other part of Europe like Greece or Spain the "allies" would have applauded wholeheartedly the people that defied the tanks and gave their lives for democracy and offered serious backing. But that did not happen for Turkey.
On the contrary, as time went by they even started showing support for those involved in the coup attempt, Germany and several others gave asylum to the coup plotters and even NATO officials harbored Turkish officers who had been a part of the coup attempt. Of course this in return led to many people in Turkey thinking these Western countries were in fact behind the coup plot.
So given the circumstances can anyone with a bit of common sense blame the Turkish people for failing to trust these "allies?"
Turkey has been and still is under serious threat from a score of terrorist organizations like the separatist group the PKK, like the radical left-wing Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-front (DHKP-C) and the extremist Daesh, not to mention the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) that tried to stage the coup.
Turkey has suffered the most at the hands of these terrorist organizations and yet it has been left alone to fight against them. The "allies" who put the PKK on their list of terrorist organizations have acted so irrationally regarding the PKK that many Turks are now asking whether we are being fooled by the Western countries on the Kurdish issue and whether they are actually cooperating with these separatists to divide Turkey and help the terrorist PKK set up a state in Turkish territory. Many European countries have allowed the PKK to rally in the streets against Turkey; they have given them the opportunity to brag about how they killed Turks and Kurds with suicide bombers, which is intolerable.
So given the circumstances can anyone with a bit of common sense blame the Turkish people for failing to trust these "allies?" Turkey went through a grueling referendum campaign on constitutional changes that introduced a presidential system of government. The Western powers did not only oppose the changes but actively rallied against them and used every means possible to campaign for the rejection of the changes, which was blatant interference in Turkey's internal affairs.
But as if this were not enough, countries like Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium banned Turkish politicians and government ministers from entering their respective countries to campaign for the constitutionals changes. You do not do this to your enemy let alone your "ally."
So can anyone with a bit of common sense blame the Turkish people for failing to trust these "allies"?
This is the heart of the matter. The Western Europeans and the Americans have long lost the trust of the Turkish people. The issue is not Erdoğan, the issue is how to win back Turkish hearts and souls.